Illustrating Sports With Silver Bullet Points

Written February 27th, 2013 by MaliBuckeye

Sexier than the swimsuit issue

Today’s soundtrack is brought to you by 70 degrees and sunny skies in Los Angeles. Oh, and a little bit of EW&F.

Buckeye 411

  • Buck And Cover- That thing over there is this week’s Sports Illustrated cover, well everywhere but the southeast. I think that the expectations and so forth for this team are pretty high…
  • In Case You Were Wondering- Here’s the other cover… which may explain why Braxton looks so terrified on his “Breakout” photo.
  • Healing Nicely- At the Combine last week, we learned that John Simon was recovering from shoulder surgery. It sounds as if it was pretty routine, if you call “requiring diamond tipped instruments to cut through his muscle tissue” routine.
  • Nice Gig- Brandon Castel has a great article from the Buckeye Cruise for Cancer (unfortunately named, but it sounds like there are plans to change it). Who do I need to talk to to get assigned to the “Ohio State Cruise” beat?
  • Updates- From Brandon: Jordan Hall is no longer a running back, but will be a “pivot”; Christian Bryant is the emotional leader of the defense (more later); and Urban didn’t really ‘call out’ the other coaches but challenged the conference to raise it’s standards.
  • Gene’s Scene- We’ve talked before about the expansion landscape; Gene Smith this week said that the conferences is not looking to grow until they see how Maryland and Rutgers fit in. So- the B1G is totally annexing the entire B12 on Thursday.
  • So Dreamy- Aaron Craft doing Aaron Craft things, on the radio this time.
  • But… He only gets that interview because he’s a rosy cheeked white guy.
  • Great Read- MoC’s new book is out, part of his Redemption Tour. Check it out here...
  • This Week In Sammy Silv- Seriously, this needs to be a regular feature: Read More

Thanksgiving with tBBC: Time for Turkeys

Written November 22nd, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Right about now, you’re either getting ready to sit down for an awkward family dinner with that weird uncle, or you’ve already eaten and are letting the tryptophan course through your body… Ah, the Holidays.

Here at tBBC we wanted to take a moment and reflect on the highs and lows from the past year, which will give me just enough time to snag that last piece of sweet potato pie while everyone is reminiscing.

We’re Thankful For…

Janelle: Coach Meyer. We knew that the Buckeyes would be better this season, but undefeated going into TSUN week? That far and away exceeded expectations. We knew it was possible, but after last season, I don’t think anyone was sure what would happen this year. He has rallied the troops and gotten them to play with so much heart and intensity. It has truly been fun to watch.

WVa: Braxton and Coach Meyer. In a season that the expectation was that the Buckeyes just be more competitive than last year, they have excelled because of these two. I am thankful for the relationship that they have forged as they lead the Buckeyes. The next two seasons will be very special because the Buckeyes have the best coach and the best player hands down. It’ll be interesting to have the discussion next year, when will their first loss together be?

Gary:  Two things. I am thankful for being part of Buckeye Nation. This Nation has the best fans in all of college football. No one is more passionate than Buckeye fans. Second, I am thankful for a great football team that has fought through tremendous obstacles to become one of only two undefeated teams!

Eric: I must say that I am most thankful to have been able to participate on this blog for the last 4 years without having a drastic effect on my real life job.  That it has enabled me to drastically improve my writing, improve my understanding of the sports I love, and participate in activities and events that I never thought possible a few short years ago.  It may be the kind of activity that causes you to sit around for long hours of the day in your pajamas, but it is worth every anti-social minute.

I’m also thankful to have worked with some of the best sportswriters on the face of the earth here at the BBC.  Each and every one of them has been an absolute pleasure to work with.  The jokes shared, and the back and forth commentary and discussions we have both behind the scenes and in public are without a doubt some of the most enlightening, engaging, and entertaining I’ve ever had. Thanks guys.  I hope to keep doing this with you for quite a bit longer.

Leader. Legend.

Jason: Urban Meyer. Who knows where we would be and what the future would look like if anyone else had been given the job. With Urban we know the future is bright. I’m also thankful for 11-0 and the chance to be 12-0. I’d also like to thank the guys (and girls) here at the BBC for giving me a place to rant each week. Thanks!

JoeL: Jim Tressel putting this program back on the map.  I am so excited for him to be back in the shoe on Saturday and I am sure many people have mixed feelings about it, but without him, we wouldn’t be where we are today, we were stumbling against tsun, we were in shambles academically, and he resurrected the program, and while it wasn’t the way we wanted to see him go out, he was able to turn a successful program over to another great coach that I am thankful to be here.

Mali: I’d echo everyone’s sentiments thus far, particularly the pleasure of getting to be a part of this great group of writers and fans.  In addition, I’d say that I’m also continually amazed by and grateful for the folks who come by every day and join our party- readers, commentors, facebook friends, and members of the twitterati.  We don’t do this without you.

The other thing I’m most thankful for, Buckeye related, is John Simon.  And Nathan Williams. Etienne Sabino, Justin Boren, Reid Fragel, Orhian Johnson, Jake Stoneburner, Ben Buchanan, and ALL of Ohio State’s senior class. Their dedication to the program, their willingness to stay and lead after one of the most challenging seasons in the program’s history is something that is rare in the “what’s in it for me” culture in college sports, particularly knowing that there’d be no post-season for them.  Here’s to hoping that their final game is the type of victory that they deserve.

The Biggest Turkey Of This Season Is… Read More

Silver Bullet Points Gears Up

Written November 21st, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

This week, there’s only one song that will suffice for Buckeye Nation. Enjoy!

Shiny

Buckeye 411

The “reveal” was a part of the Beat Blue rally in the Student Union on Monday night, and saw former Ohio State running back Raymont Harris taking the catwalk at the party.  The biggest question is about the Buckeye leafs awards on the helmet- the jersey will have seven of them to commemorate the seven national titles, but it’s unlikely that the awards the players have won this season will make the helmet. That being said, the official Nike blog has a Buckeye sticker on the helmet, so there may be something in the works.

My take: I like these the most of the ones we’ve seen, although I wish they’d stop screwing around with the gear for Mich1gAAn week. But, the students like them, as do all of the recruits who will be in attendance... and that’s the target demographic.

  • Meyer’s Musings- In this week’s B1G Conference Call, Coach Meyer talked anew about how growing up in Ohio makes him understand The Game as the most important thing that matters.

“You’re taught at a very young age who the enemy is, but you have a lot respect for the enemy.”

He spoke fondly about this year’s senior class, and how he’s been impressed that they stuck around once the bowl ban was announced.  He talked about the need to be ready for both Denard and Devin at quarterback on Saturday, and that there was more than likely a chance for something “interesting” to happen. On his own quarterback, Coach Meyer talks to him daily and reminds him that the goal is to be a QB that can run rather than a running back who throws the ball. “It’s a big week in Columbus Ohio”

  • Oh, Davey!!-  Braxton is one of three finalists for the Davey O’Brian Award this year, and there’s a chance for fans to vote as well. Personally, I hope that the fan votes are taken with a huge grain of salt- NCAA accolades should not be like an American Idol competition, plus Texas A&M fans are notorious for their online balloting prowess.
  • That Coach Up North- was also on the B1G conference call, and clarified his position on calling OSU “Ohio”, saying that he didn’t mean it to be disrespectful, but that it was something he’d done since he was a kid.  He also talked about Braxton, and said his decision making has improved greatly from last year and throughout the season… something they will be focusing on.
  • Show Urb The Money- While I still don’t give a flying fig for the AP rankings until AFTER the season is over, Coach Meyer has at least a nominal reason to pay a little more attention to where his team ends up- his contract was reworked to reward him for a high AP position this year, in lieu of the BCS ban the Buckeyes are facing.
  • Might As Well Jump! Huge thanks to our own Janelle for this great photo of this year’s Mirror Lake Jump!

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Silver Bullet Points You Toward The Weekend

Written May 24th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

SBP gets the ol’ bumperino this week to accommodate life. It happens, right?

Ooooh! Shiny!

Buckeye 411

  • Well, Frick- The Lantern tonight released a story regarding 11-12 pending violations being processed by the NCAA. After the “46 violations and various raffle rigging” story from last week, you’ve got to think that the folks in Columbus are just about tired of this type of coverage… I know that Buckeye Nation certainly is. The story doesn’t clarify which sports might be impacted or what the specifics of the situations are, so it could be that the NCAA decides that these are not “violations” after all, or we could find out that we’ve got a bunch of scofflaws on the OSU fencing team. Either way, we’ll find out as soon as it hits the front page of ESPN.
  • This Week In Comedy- In the article linked above, we’re reminded of the following regarding current AD Gene Smith:

Smith said multiple offenses by individual teams is a concern of his, especially if the violations committed are in relation to recruiting.

Smith was cited for breaking NCAA recruiting policy despite his distaste for recruiting infractions in particular.

“I intend to retire here as a Buckeye. You can never say never that you won’t do something else, but as far as athletic director or athletic administration, this is my last stop.”

I’m sure there are alumni and fans who have an opinion regarding that timeline.

  • That’s A Steele- Phil Steel’s Preseason All-B1G was released today. Some things made sense (Hankes, Simon on the first team), while others were just mind boggling. Braxton behind Captain Jump-ball? Roby on the 4th team? Just wow.
  • On The Road Again- The B1G released the conference schedules for 2015-16 on Tuesday, and UnScripted Ohio hosted a really good round table with BBN folks to get their take.  My initial thought- No Nebraska on the schedule outside of the CCG? My marriage thanks the scheduling gods…
  • Scoring in Bunches- Shout out to the Baseball Bucks, who continued along in B1G play by scoring 11 runs in the 8th and 9th innings on their way to a 12- 5 come from behind victory over #3 seed Penn State.  Next up? Purdue.
  • Yes, I Love Technology- Pretty cool news today regarding Ohio State’s partnering with University Digital First to provide student athletes with iPads for scheduling, coursework (avoiding potentially embarrasing situations and saving trees!), and playbooks.  Several schools in the conference have also done this, including That School Up North (didn’t know that iPads had modem adapters) and Wisconsin, which even has them in team colors.
  • Shooty Hoops For Money- In the NBA playoffs, you’ve got to enjoy watching Evan Turner’s consistency and rebounding against the Celtics, and give kudos to Daequan Cook still alive with OKC in the Western Conference Finals. Oh, that’s right- Ohio State is a football school… silly me. Read More

Ohio State Reports Secondary Violations

Written May 17th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Ok, you can place this squarely in the “You have got to be effing kidding me” files.

Ohio State today released information regarding 46 secondary NCAA violations across all of their athletic programs. Doug Lesmerises has the full scoop.

After a year and a half of “Oh NOES!!!!”, I actually appreciate this news for two reasons. First, it shows that the University continues to self monitor and self report even the most minor issues (see next point). This isn’t a program gone “rogue”, but one that’s trying to navigate as best as possible within the labyrinthine regulations of the No Clue At All.

Which brings me to the second point- These violations continue to prove how out of touch and often petty the NCAA can be.  While certain entities are arguing for billion dollar playoffs coordinated by corrupt bowl “non-profits” with questionable benefits to the actual participants, the following are found to be against the rules (again, from Doug’s article):

  • Football coach Urban Meyer said “Good luck,” to recruit Noah Spence before his state championship game in Pennsylvania in December. Contact like that with Spence, on his game day, is forbidden.
  • Athletic director Gene Smith and alumni association CEO Archie Griffin recorded a personalized video for football recruit Ezekiel Elliott for his official campus visit on March 31. Recruiting videos are forbidden.
  • Assistant football coach Mike Vrabel used smokeless tobacco on the sidelines during games, which was reported to Ohio State anonymously by an area health teacher. NCAA rules forbid tobacco use during games or practices.
  • Greg Paulus, the basketball team’s video coordinator, was reported to be coaching players during the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Tournament semifinal win over Michigan on March 10. Video coordinators, who aren’t full assistants, may not coach players. The violation was discovered after a general conversation between an OSU player’s parent and an assistant athletic director.
  • Last August, quality control football staffer Kirk Barton, a former OSU offensive lineman, created and ordered 20 “JT” bracelets for $5 each online to honor former coach Jim Tressel. He intended them for friends and family, but several players asked Barton about the bracelets. He sold seven players the bracelets for $15, charging that amount in an attempt to make sure no violation was committed, knowing that giving them out for free would be an NCAA violation. But selling them still was deemed a violation because players had access to something not available to the general public. The players returned the bracelets.
  • Assistant coach Stan Drayton last July accidentally sent a text message to a recruit when he meant to send an email. Emails were permissible. Text messages were not.
  • On Aug. 20, assistant coach Dick Tressel responded to a text message from the parents of recruit Warren Ball asking which gate to use to enter Ohio Stadium for a scrimmage. Texting the parents of a recruit was a violation.
  • In December of 2010, five current football players took five recruits on OSU visits to a movie. NCAA rules allow each recruit $60 in spending money for entertainment. A cab ride to the movie put each recruit between $1 and $5 over budget, which the football players paid out of pocket. That was not allowed because the $60 limit was exceeded.
  • The school realized that during three days of the football team’s Rose Bowl trip from Dec. 26, 2009, to Jan. 2, 2010, the players received both a $15 per diem and breakfast. That pushed them over the allowable three meals of $45 per diem.

While the Gene Smith one makes me particularly perplexed (in part because I can’t figure out what his job is, exactly), and I understand the importance of a program under the microscope to be above reproach… I still have to look at this and shake my head. This is what passes for compliance with an organization that has from the beginning often worked in opposition to the educational mission of member institutions and lack of regard for their key stakeholders.

And so, for the second time in a week I find myself referring to Scripture, this time from the twenty third chapter of the book of Matthew-

You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

Woe to you, teachers of the law… you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence… First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Silver Bullet Points Hears The Whispers

Written May 16th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

All The Better To Hear You With

Buckeye 411

  • Shower Ends Sweat- This “Duh!” headline actually points to an interesting story Tuesday about why former Buckeye Andrew Sweat chose to end his bid at a professional career. According to the Dispatch, Sweat slipped in the shower the morning that mini-camp was to start and experienced concussive-like symptoms similar to what he wrestled with during his time in Columbus. After they lingered longer than he’d expected, he sat down and talked with his family; I’m sure the recent news about health issues in the NFL had to be at the back of his mind (OK, maybe not the best choice of phrase there). Given that he’s also been accepted to several law programs, it does make sense to look at the bigger picture- heck, even Michigan fans think so. Godspeed and best wishes, Mr. Sweat!
  • Hall Of Fame? More Like Hall O’ Lame, AmIRite?-  The College Football Hall of Fame announced their incoming class, and somehow Orlando Pace was not amongst the nominees in spite of the fact that he was a potential candidate. Seriously- the best offensive tackle in the history of Ohio State sports, a two time Lombardi trophy winner and one of two people to win either the Lombardi/Outland three times.  Pace was also a Heisman (!) finalist, and should have been a cake walk into the CHoF.  Doubt me? Watch this video…  Pace wasn’t the only snubbed choice, as Nebraska’s Tommie Frazier also missed the cut. You remember Frazier; three time National Championship Game MVP, Heisman runner up to Eddie George, and dude I met last fall. Video evidence hereabouts.  You know who did get in? Ty Detmer, the guy who brought us such memorable moments as this.
  • Rocketman-  JD Weatherspoon announced today what we’d expected for a while- he’s transferring to Toledo to finish his college career. Best of luck, ‘Spoon!
  • Justice, Of Sorts- The man who shot former Buckeye recruit Jamel Turner was found guilty on all charges today. The shooting took the life of another Youngstown native.
  • Your Weekly Dose Of Swoon- Double shot this week: Craft the pitcher and meeting the governor.
  • A Hairy Situation- Nick Mangold getting his chest waxed? Nick Mangold getting his chest waxed.
  • Meet The New Boss- Tuesday was the Urban Meyer Town Hall for students at OSU; it was pretty much what you’d expect (huge thanks to @KristinPantoni), except for this bit of brilliance: Read More

Silver Bullet Points Goes High Def

Written April 12th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Bumped back a day to cover today’s press access- one more day means even more news, notes, and inanity.

Would look great in the man cave- and Father's Day is coming up...

Buckeye 411

  • You (will be) looking live… at a brand new, super hugemongous, HD capable scoreboard in Ohio Stadium in the fall of 2012. In addition to this addition, the ‘Shoe is getting HDTVs throughout the concourses and a brand new sound system. Pluses: great view of hard hits and controversial plays, as well as being able to enjoy the schadenfreude on the other sideline with more definition. Minuses: they still won’t show the plays you want to see, they’ll probably use most of that space for advertising, and the sound system will encourage them to play stuff rather than letting TBDBITL bring the heat.
  • Meyer’s Musings- Coach Meyer was in front of the media twice today; once with the B1G conference call and then again after practice. And, as surprising as this might be for folks who are used to Ohio State press interviews… he actually answered questions and gave his honest opinion.  Whew, lawdy… almost got a case of the vapors.
  • Topic du jour- Coach was asked about a Sporting News piece regarding his time at Florida (more after the break), and was adamant that any alleged NCAA issues were blatantly not true. His exact quote-

There was no NCAA violation. If you could bold and underline that for me, please.

Done and done, coach.

  • Also, on the phone- Coach Meyer talked a bit about the process that the team was going through in learning the offense, and said that Braxton has been having success with the perimeter running game. While the passing game still behind, he’s seen that Stoneburner and Hall are playmakers and that John Simon is a  “Warhorse”. Hopefully this won’t mean he’ll be snubbed during Oscar season.
  • This Week In Injuries- In the teleconference, Coach Meyer revealed that Jacoby Boren had surgery for a torn labrum suffered during his senior season, and that the surgery was done now to ensure that he would be ready for the fall. He will remain the #2 center, in spite of missed time.  Later, we heard that Se’Von Pittman will also miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. Today in practice, CJ Barnett and Rod Smith were dinged up a bit, and several folks were still recovering from earlier issues and were in limited action. Read More

Silver Bullet Points Gets Ahead

Written February 8th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Time for the hump day look around the world of college sports, with a soundtrack from a reunited legend. We look at playoffs, SEC controversy, NCAA hypocrisy, and other items this week.

There's Your Problem

Buckeye 411

  • Props- No, not the side bets before the Super Bowl, the recognition of two Buckeyes who are now World (excluding everyone outside of the USA) champions as the NY Giants defeated the Evil Tom Bradys.  Great photos abound, but check out Jake Ballard at the parade, Jim Cordle with the key to the city, and the Jake holding the trophy. Ohio State, where tight ends go to catch as many passes in their career as the NFL will have them catch in a season… we help them build slowly.
  • Crutches- Speaking of Ballard, the unfortunate word is that his exit from the game was not so he could get Madonna’s number (thank God), but due to a torn ACL. Thoughts and prayers, big man.

Playoffs?

  • Seeing Reason-  The news this week was about the B1G looking at options for a four team playoff at the end of the NCAA season, with the possibility of higher ranked teams hosting home games in the first round.  This would be a huge win across the board, since it means that a) We’d finally get to have a playoff, b) Northern schools might actually have a home game, c) It may also keep the Rose Bowl tie in (unless a B1G or PAC team is in the MNCG, they could play in Pasadena). While some were quick to point out that this might not be an automatic “come play in the cold!!!” win for the B1G, it should be noted that it’s better than the possibility that the conference has had over the past 14 years. Things to be worked out- if there are 5/6 power conferences, who gets the 4 spots?  It’s got to be “conference champions only”, right? Anyone really excited about a four team playoff with four teams from the ACC or another conference?
  • Not So Fast- Lots of folks pointed at the Giants win over the Patriots as being an argument against playoffs, since the GMen worked hard and got hot at the right time rather than being the best all season long. Team Speed Kills shot holes in this argument, and gave us our SBP discussion question of the day:
  • In the comments, give us your thoughts: Is “champion” a team who is the “best” over a season, or the team who wins a prescribed end of season event?  You probably know my thoughts on this- “champion” is an arbitrary designation, and as such should be acknowledged that delineation as such is valid no matter the circumstances or criterion.

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